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Moir Classic notebook

From staff reports

The Moir notebook …

Dennis Davidson doesn’t look like a man who has spent parts of the last six months ensuring the Moir Classic goes off without a hitch.

Catawba’s athletics director should be rattled beyond recognition after conceiving and arranging the three-day,

18-game extravaganza at Goodman Gym. Instead, he’s been cooler than the vegetables in your crisper.

“The No. 1 obstacle was how were we gonna get everybody at least two games,” Davidson said during a quiet moment Thursday. “Adding a seventh school (Carson) made it a little tricky. I studied these brackets and different configurations and didn’t really make a decision until the summer.”

Expanding the tournament from 14 games to 18 meant more behind-the-scenes manpower was needed. More officials, more table workers, locker room attendants, custodians and volunteers.

“There’s been no rest for the weary,” Davidson said.

For its efforts, Catawba’s athletic department gets to bank one-eighth of the gate receipts — after all the bills are paid — and all concession stand revenue. Day 1 of the tournament was particularly profitable.

“Yesterday’s first day was the biggest we’ve ever had as far as gate,” Davidson reported. “The place holds 3,000, and we were three-fourths full most of the time. It was steady all day.”

Part of the tourney expenses were defrayed by RoMedical Care, a second-year sponsor.

“It’s good to have a title sponsor because you can have a bad day — like we did last year — and not really feel it,” Davidson said.

There isn’t much reward in all of this for Davidson — who has run the tournament since 1996 — but he doesn’t seem to mind.

“It’s still special,” he said. “I get to be part of a major tradition in Salisbury. I’d put it right behind Rowan Legion baseball, high school football and Catawba football as the biggest sporting events we have all year.”

And how cool is that?

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GIRLS ALL-TOURNEY: Salisbury dominated the picks for the Moir Classic’s girls all-tournament team, taking three of the six available spots.

In addition to sophomore guard Shi-Heria Shipp, named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, the Hornets also had junior guard Kwameshia Hicks and sophomore guard-forward De’Rya Wylie voted onto the team.

Also earning all-tournament honors were senior forward Sierra Ingram and senior guard Shemieka Brown from North Rowan, and East Rowan junior guard Haley Miller.

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DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Brown came out of Friday night’s girls championship game with less than three minutes remaining after a hard collision with Salisbury’s Kayley Gallagher.

Brown was called for a charging foul on the play, but both players remained on the floor for several moments after the collision.

While Gallagher was able to walk back to the Hornets’ bench, Brown was examined for a possible injury to her right leg before being carried to the Cavaliers’ bench by head coach Mike White.

“It was just a cramp,” White said. “She just needs to get some bananas and stuff in her, but she’ll be all right. She’ll be ready to play the next game.”

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UP NEXT: White had one concern after North Rowan’s loss to Salisbury in the Moir Classic girls final — how it would affect his team when the Cavaliers resume their conference schedule.

North (9-2, 2-0) is currently tied for the Central Carolina Conference lead with East Davidson. And who is the Cavaliers’ first opponent of 2007? You guessed it — East Davidson at North on Tuesday.

“I told the girls that they shouldn’t hang their heads — we’re still undefeated in conference, and we’re getting ready to play one of the best teams in our conference,” White said.

“Hopefully this will keep their heads up and listening to the coaches instead of not doing the things they should be doing.”

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GETTING BETTER: Carson’s boys are 1-10 but surprised tournament-watchers with their competitiveness.

They gave Salisbury a decent game, beat North Rowan and took South Rowan to the wire.

Coach Brian Perry, a former Catawba player coming home to Goodman Gym, managed a few smiles over his team’s progress.

“We are getting better,” he said. “Executing better, defending better, doing things better — period. We’ve just got to eliminate the little spells, and we can hit a roll.”

The NPC doesn’t include any obvious weak sisters this season, but don’t be shocked if the Cougars win a few league games.

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ROUGH STRETCH: South Rowan’s girls went 0-2 in the Christmas tournament and have dropped five straight games after a 5-2 start.

“We’ve got our faults, some stuff to work on,” coach Jim Brooks said. “One thing is we’re just not getting on the foul line enough for the type of team we have.”

With three 6-footers and a 5-foot-11 guard, South would ideally be an inside-oriented team, but the Raiders fired 22 3s against East and attempted just eight free throws, while East was awarded 32.

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SICK KURT: Under the weather with a virus, East’s Kurt Misenheimer didn’t score in the Moir championship game, but he did contribute 26 minutes, four valuable rebounds and two steals.

Misenheimer’s presence was huge, especially after Shawn Eagle fouled out.

“I wanted to come out, but I knew I had to keep playing,” said Misenheimer, who lost 10 pounds in one day from the illness.

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STATEMENT MADE: “There were two great teams going head-to-head out there, and we showed we belonged,” Salisbury boys coach Jason Causby said after his team’s double-overtime loss to East. “We wanted a trophy and got a plaque, but I would still say we removed any doubts that we’re a good team.”

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GOLLY, ALI: East wanted to make Salisbury guard Ibn Ali shoot jumpers, but Ali made enough shots to score 10 points. He also had seven rebounds and three assists.

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PRAISE FOR CAMPBELL: East’s Spenser Davis and coach Greg McKenzie couldn’t stop talking about Salisbury’s Doug Campbell, who made a great shot to force double overtime.

“With Doug, it doesn’t matter if there’s a hand in his face or not,” Davis said. “He’s great. He just keeps making shots.”

Davis and Campbell embraced in the hallway after their heated battle and wished each other well. Fans won’t have to wait long for a rematch, albeit a rematch with less riding on it. East takes on Salisbury on Wednesday.

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ALL-TOURNAMENT: When a championship game is as back-and-forth as Friday’s boys contest, it’s difficult to pick the all-tournament team, which must be assembled while the game is still in progress and changing complexion with each bucket.

Had voting taken place after the title game, it’s likely East guard Justin Vanderford, who started slowly but scored six points in the second overtime for a team-high 19 points, would have been on more ballots.

East placed MVP Davis and Kenan McKenzie on the team, while Salisbury’s Campbell and Joe Allen were obvious choices. Davie’s Drew Absher, who shot the lights out for three days, and West’s rebounding demon K.J. Sherrill completed the six-man squad.

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Mike London, David Shaw and Bill Kiser contributed to the notebook.

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